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Food and Beverage

Restaurants Can ‘Review’ Their Own Customers Now

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Restaurants may soon have a chance to ask their customers: how does the shoe feel on the other foot?!

The founder of Dimmi, which is basically the Australian equivalent of OpenTable, told the Good Food blog this week that his service will allow member restaurateurs to share information about specific patrons: how much they order, which dishes and wines they prefer, whether they leave generous tips and even “whether [they] continued to camp out at the table long after [they'd] finished dessert.”

With whom would they share this information? Other restaurants, of course.

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Millennials Are A Big Reason Panera Bread Will Dump The Additives In Its Food By 2016

panera tweetPanera Bread isn’t stopping with the bread. The company has announced that it will rid its food of all artificial additives by the end of 2016. “That means no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives in any of the hundreds of food items it sells,” reports USA Today.

Consumers have become much more cautious about what they eat. With issues like allergies, obesity, and just overall good health at the forefront, restaurants — whether fast food, cafe chains, or anything of the like — that can build a brand on being good for you (or at least not bad for you) have a new and very powerful selling point.

“I want to serve food that I want to eat,” Ron Shaich, founder and CEO of Panera, told the newspaper. Beverages could be next, with high-fructose corn syrup on the chopping block.

Among the ingredients that will be nixed are maltodextrin, ascorbic acid and potassium lactate. If it’s too much like a chemistry class, people will be wary. Panera believes this is especially true for millennials.

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Alleged Bigot Sues Red Lobster, Waitress for Accusing Him of Bigotry

red lobsterLast September, Toni Christina Jenkins was waiting tables at her local Red Lobster in Tennessee when some jackleg fool left an unfortunate, highly racist note in the tip section instead of money (pictured in its original NSFW fashion after the jump).

To wit, Jenkins posted it on Facebook and the thing went viral faster that the flu. And for her efforts to “show that racism was still alive and well,” she was suspended from her job for “violating the company’s policy prohibiting the posting of receipts online.”

Stay classy, Red Lobster.

Anywho, things went very well for Jenkins but the guy who allegedly went all backwoods trailer park on her receipt is suing Red Lobster — and Ms. Jenkins — for $1 million. His claim: She did it.

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QuestLove Clearly Has a Thing for Nilla Wafers

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I’m Old School — no question.

As a disc jockey in a former life, I couldn’t stand new music because it lacked the panache of the classics. Regardless of the genre, I played it, broadcast it, and definitely bobbed my head to it. Anything new, I avoided like a Kardashian does to poor white people.

New music offered me nothing, until the legendary Roots Crew. (And we’re talking long before Jimmy Fallon, like 1989.) Anywho, other than the most underrated lyricist outside of Talib Kweli, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, The Roots are known by the presence of ?uestlove.

Most dig his full afro, mad vibe on beats, and whatever else he likes. Over the weekend, America discovered his affinity for Nilla Wafers…and now, they love those even more.

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THIS JUST IN: Study Says ‘Cheap, Fast Food Could Contribute to Obesity’

THIS JUST IN 2I know, right?!

I mean in this world of microwavable news and drive-thru headlines, you would think this country would not have missed this before now. Fret no longer, fellow Americans. The American Cancer Society (ACS) has put those fears to rest, thanks to its latest press release.

In this “groundbreaking” release, the ACS cites a review that says fast food and its dastardly inexpensive price points are to blame for obesity.

Reasons for this rise in obesity have been suggested in the review, such as “snack food, automobiles, television, fast food, computer use, vending machines, suburban housing developments, and portion size.”

*facepalm*  Read more

Good News: Pizza Guy from the Oscars Opening His Own Place

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Best delivery of his life.

It’s nice when 15 minutes of fame does not lead to a reality show and ending in a drunken stupor, don’t you think? In the world of good news and #PRWin, meet Edgar Martirosyan. In case his name doesn’t sound familiar, his fame should — he was the guy who delivered pizza to Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, and Meryl Streep at the Oscars.

Yeah, that guy.

Thanks to that delivery, Edgar is taking the fame out for a spin and opening his own Neapolitan-style pizza restaurant called Wood (so yes, I’m partial).

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Chipotle Bans Guns at Restaurants After ‘Open Carry’ Demonstration in Texas

1311973338-chipotle-logoRemember when gun enthusiasts celebrated a heavily-armed “Starbucks Appreciation Day” to thank the coffee chain for defaulting to local gun laws (including “open carry” regulations), resulting in the company banning firearms from all of its locations to separate itself from the highly-political kerfuffle?

Well, if being barred from polishing your colt 45 while sipping on a latte at your local Starbucks disappointed you, you’ll be devastated to learn that if you were hoping to brandish an assault rifle while enjoying your next Chipotle burrito, you’ll now officially have to order it to go.

The new policy banning guns from all Chipotle locations comes after participants in an “open carry” demonstration brought guns — including assault rifles — into one of Chipotle’s Texas stores. The spectacle (for some reason) made customers rather uncomfortable, and also launched the fast food chain into the center of a hotly-debated issue — neither of which the company particularly appreciated. Read more

Hooters Jokes About Rape on Its Facebook Page

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Yeah. Hold that thought, kid.

I know. I know. Fellas, you all go here for the wings. Okay, now that we have that sage excuse out of the way to clear your conscience, something terribly serious happened at the home of the owl that has most of its female servers wondering, “WTH?” (‘H’ being for ‘Hooters.’)

Despite what is said on CBS’ “Undercover Boss,” many people do believe the women in this fine establishment are being exploited. However, if they want that cash, maybe the servers don’t mind so much: they can almost ignore the handsy drunk dude in the corner while shunning the douchey guy whose wedding ring is clearly in his pocket.

However, when you joke about rape, stuff gets real.

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Bored on Your Lunchbreak? Chipotle Prints Literary Works on Bags and Cups to ‘Cultivate Thought’

chipotle-cups-hr-hed-2014Remember, as a kid, sitting at the kitchen table and reading the back of the cereal box over and over again? We don’t know about you, but once we had figured out the puzzles and read the stories, if there was still milk in the bowl, we’d move on to reading the ingredients — we needed to keep our eyes and brains busy while mindlessly munching on Cheerios.

Now, Chipotle is betting that we haven’t outgrown the impulse to scan for something to read while eating alone; next time you find yourself eating a burrito bowl solo, there will be no need to reach into your pocket for your phone or dig through your bag for your Kindle — works by literary giants will now appear conveniently on the bags and cups containing your culinary delights. Read more

Documents Show That Coca-Cola Supported Both MADD & A Group Opposed To Stricter Drunk Driving Laws

coke lightboxThe Huffington Post has gotten its hands on documents that show while Coca-Cola was supporting Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) it was also a member of the American Beverage Institute (ABI). The ABI, in trying to live up to its stated mission of “the protection of responsible on-premise consumption of adult beverages” has supported measures that would lower the legal blood-alcohol limits and fought against measures that would raise taxes on alcohol and institute sobriety checkpoints. An op-ed highlighted on the About Us page right now is from the October 24, 2013 issue of the Las Vegas Review-Journal called “Lower blood-alcohol limits won’t curb drunk driving deaths.”

When questioned about the support, Coke spokesperson Kirsten Witt told HuffPo, “On behalf of our customers, Coca-Cola has provided support to ABI over the years. We are not engaged in ABI advocacy efforts.” According to the HuffPo story, the annual membership dues at ABI are in “… between $2,500 a year (for companies with under $1 billion in sales that attend no meetings) to $45,000 a year (for those with $2 billion in sales that attend the three ABI meetings a year)” for non-alcohol companies. Dues vary for restaurants, retailers, companies that sell non-alcoholic beverages and businesses that sell alcohol.

MADD’s chief government affairs officer J.T. Griffin said of the situation, “It is a little shocking. I guess it is unfortunate. But it certainly is their right.”

Griffin is right. It’s totally Coke’s right to support both. But with customers looking for authenticity, it calls the company’s brand into question.

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